James Earl Fraser

was one of the most prominent American sculptors of the first half of the 20th century. His work is integral to many of Washington, D.C.’s most iconic structures and his most famous projects, such as End of the Trail and the Indian Head (Buffalo) nickel. This coin was discontinued after 1938, but has since been reprised in 2001 on a US commemorative coin, and more recently on a gold buffalo one ounce gold bullion coin. As a child, James Fraser was exposed to frontier life and the experience of Native Americans, who were being pushed ever further west or confined to Indian reservations. These early memories were expressed in many of his works, from his earlier trials, such as the bust Indian Princess.

Fraser’s work in Washington includes The Authority of Law and The Contemplation of Justice at the U.S. Supreme Court; the south pediment and statues at the National ArchivesAlexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin at the U.S. Treasury; and the Second Division Monument, completed with the firm of architect John Russell Pope. His commissions also include coins and medals, such as the World War I Victory Medal, the Navy Cross. James Earle Fraser died on October 11, 1953, at Westport, Connecticut, and is buried in Willowbrook Cemetery.


Dan Vera – http://www.danvera.com – Photograph of public sculpture at federal government building., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18801760

Photo by Michael Parker (Michael H. Parker).James Earle Fraser, sculptor – Mike Parker, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4523553

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